CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Three names synonymous with their sports are being recognized next week by Sport P.E.I.
Peter Gallant (curling), Eddie MacDonald (rugby) and Joe Ryan (volleyball) are this year’s finalists for the P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Coach of the Year Award. The winner will be announced Feb. 7 during the annual awards ceremony at Holland College.
Here is a short bio of the three finalists provided by Sport P.E.I.
Peter Gallant and his family have become a staple in Island curling, yet none have stepped onto the Olympic stage.
That is all about to change.
Gallant took on the position of head coach for a women’s South Korean curling team in 2016 with the task of qualifying for the Olympics. A year later, Gallant and his team achieved the goal and will be representing the Asian nation at PyeongChang.
It will be an Olympic ice breaker for the Gallants, as Peter will hope to achieve nothing short of a podium finish later in February, but chances are we will see more Olympic action from the family in years to come.
There may not be a more respected coach in their community on P.E.I. than Eddie MacDonald. The longtime leader of the Mudmen Rugby Club has set an unprecedented amount of commitment to his players.
In 2017, Eddie showed that hard work and determination will eventually pay off, as the Division One Mudmen Rugby Club claimed their first Maritime championship.
Eddie and his squad will look to build off their successful campaign in 2017, and continue to represent P.E.I. at the highest levels of Canadian senior rugby for years to come.
Whether it’s been officiating or coaching, Joe Ryan has been involved with P.E.I. volleyball for more than 25 years.
2017 marked Joe’s sixth season as head coach of the Holland College Hurricanes men’s volleyball team, and earned his second Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) coach of the year award. Shortly after this recognition, the team achieved their first ACAA championship. It was bittersweet, having been in the final four of his six years in charge.
In addition to his coaching duties, Joe is a board member and regional officials chairman of Volleyball P.E.I. It’s people like Joe Ryan that are essential to the success of Island provincial sport organizations.
A look at the recent winners of the P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Coach of the Year Award:
2016 Josh Whitty, basketball
2015 Judy Hale, biathlon
2014 John Power, squash
2013 Scott Morrison, basketball
2012 Bruce Donaldson, hockey
2011 Howard Watts and John Chiasson, boxing
2010 John Diamond, soccer
2009 Lewis Page, soccer
2008 Jim Rand, gymnastics
2007 Gardiner MacDougall, hockey
2006 Gardiner MacDougall, hockey
Got to go
2017 Amateur Sport Awards
What – The annual awards presented by Sport P.E.I.
When – Feb. 7. Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony starting at 7:15 p.m.
Where – Holland College's Florence Simmons Performance Hall.
Tickets – $25 and available by calling 902-368-4110.
Editor’s note – This is the second in a series of articles looking at the winners and finalists for the various awards